Vanuatu daily news digest | 2 October 2014

One case of measles is confirmed in Vanuatu on the same day as one of ebola in the United States. Measles represents a serious threat in Vanuatu (as does ebola everywhere in the world) and the Public Health announcement spoke of other suspected cases of measles being observed. Public Health Director George Taleo was warning of a possible outbreak and announced awareness sessions were being held in provinces. Measles represents a particular threat to the very young.

Radio Vanuatu News started the day today with the news of the possibility of a measles outbreak and then a notice that Save the Children Australia has signed an agreement with three different provinces to work on a fight against teenage pregnancy. Shefa, Penama and Sanma are those provinces concerned. This newsblog will keep you posted.

The Director of the Department of Provincial Authorities has pointed out the need for chiefs of the different areas of the country to resolve outstanding issues between themselves in order to establish who will head the Area Council. When the law recognizes who will head the Area Council of a province there must not be further disputes as to who leads that council. This has particular importance, it must be assumed, in decisions over customary land ownership.

It is said fuel is leaking from the MV Lycianda, sliding deeper into the water off Iririki Island Resort. The luxury island tourer which seemed such a valuable investment in the tourism industry, has the stern fully submerged to the mid position of the ship Daily Post reports today. The vessel owners are being held responsible.

Daily Post also reports the sad loss of the long-serving teacher Katiri Tangalobani who will be remembered in the capital for her work at the Central Primary School where she became head mistress.

Daily Post also has Gilles Daniel denying he obtained his citizenship by fraud and announcing he will sue.

Happy Torba Day everyone!

Here is the full announcement of the Government Sea MInerals Policy formulation:

The Government of the Republic of Vanuatu through the Council of Ministers has appointed a National Offshore Minerals Committee to oversee the drafting of a National Offshore Minerals Policy for the country. The First Draft of the Deep Sea Minerals Policy has now been completed and can be read and downloaded from the Ministry of Land website here.

The Government recognises that the decisions we make and the actions we take in performing our regulatory roles and other activities will affect our communities, our environment and other organisations in this regard.

While Deep Sea Mining is a new frontier in the mining industry and a potential game changer to our economy, our vision is for our stakeholders and citizens to have a high level engagement in scrutinizing the Deep Sea Minerals Policy draft before its finalization. A prerequisite consideration is whether indeed Vanuatu wants to proceed down the seabed mineral exploitation pathway at this time.

The launch of national consultations on the Deep Sea Minerals Policy will commence with a first Conference to be held from the 7th to the 9th of October 2014 at the Chiefs Nakamal in Port Vila. Invitees include all political parties represented in Parliament, the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs (whose participation has been funded), the VCC, the VNCW and the National Youth Council, other NGO’s, the private sector (through the Chamber of Commerce), and overseas experts.

Interested members of the public are also invited to attend the Conference.

Following the Conference, further consultations will be undertaken in the Provinces and with different stakeholder groups.